After 12 Years of Struggle, Richard and Carlos Are Finally Dads

Richard M. Kalasky and Carlos T. Hill live in Marietta, Georgia. The couple met online, and had a commitment ceremony in 2005, a civil union in Colorado in 2012, and then, finally, legally married in 2015. Carlos is a private chef and stay-at-home dad; Richard is a paramedic and Director of Sales for EMS, an anesthesia airway product. Together, they manage the largest Health and Fitness Expo for the Colfax Marathon in Colorado. They are raising one son, Devon Ambrose, who calls Richard "Daddy" and Carlos "Pops."

How did you two meet? We met online in Atlanta and talked for about a year before actually meeting in person due to work. At the time of our initial online contact and “meeting" I was working out of state for a federal law enforcement agency, and due to busy schedules, Carlos was working in Insurance at the time, with an odd schedule, we did not get the chance for an in-person meeting. Throughout the first year we kept in contact with extended late-night phone calls, video chats and text messaging before our initial meeting. To us, we feel like this was a great benefit to our relationship. Many times there are feelings, and a level of comfort that one might share through typed words and over the phone, BEFORE a face-to-face meeting occurs. We feel that led to our first official time together in person to feel like old friends talking.

Tell us about your path to parenthood. Carlos and I have tried adoption and surrogacy for 12 years and had many struggles. We knew we always wanted a family and finally had the opportunity to do an independent adoption last year. We raised our son's birth mother during her pregnancy, helping her with life skills like finishing her GED, learning to grocery shop and cook, managing finances, and later with a resume to get the job she currently holds.

What obstacles did you face on your path to fatherhood? We were recently scammed by a birth mother who wasn't pregnant but attempted to extort money from us. We remain very guarded throughout our process protecting not only ourselves, but our son as well.

Was there ever a moment that you or Carlos experienced any serious doubts about your path to fatherhood or fatherhood itself? Never, we just knew we had to be patient and experience the lows along with the highs. It was in God's plan, we just had to be patient and allow it to happen on his schedule!

What have you learned about being a dad? Unconditional love that grows stronger every day.Our son has also helped us build patience. Working together as a team, waking up for feedings, diaper changes, etc. it has also helped us to work on our communication between my husband and myself.

What's your main goal as a parent? We are modifying our lifestyle to now include our child, traveling to teach our son about life and the world around him. We have a goal to bring more children into our lives and to help children without families to have a forever home. We want to give our son everything in life, great education and family values.

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